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Nash goes in to bat for very special kids.

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Thursday, 5 June 2008

The Nationals Senator for New South Wales, Fiona Nash has launched a campaign urging the Federal Government to increase childcare funding for children with severe disabilities.

“Unless the Government acts now, community childcare centres will either have to deny access to children with special needs or eventually go broke,” Senator Nash said.

At issue is the Federal Government’s failure to increase in line with costs the Inclusion Support Subsidy (ISS) which allows child care services to include children with high support needs.

“While the previous Government did index this payment to the general rate of inflation, employment costs in childcare centres are rising much faster than that,” Senator Nash said.

“As a result the gap between the subsidy and the real cost has risen for the first time to over $10 per hour, per child. It was just $1.85 in 2000.”

Senator Nash cited the example of the not-for-profit Tweed Shire Vacation Care & After School Care centre in Tweed Heads which currently welcomes 20 children under the ISS system.

“This coming year the ISS gap will cost the centre around $60,000 - money it simply doesn’t have. It is left with the impossible choice of either denying access to special needs children or carrying on until all funds dry up and it has to close down,” Senator Nash said..

“If clients of this centre like Meredith Baylis of Tweed Heads West cannot access the service, they will have to quit their jobs.”

“This strikes me as grossly unfair and completely inconsistent with Prime Minister’s assertion he is doing everything humanly possible to help working families.”

Senator Nash has written to Families Minister, Jenny Macklin MP, arguing her case.

Contact: Senator Nash 0428 864 845

Nash goes in to bat for very special kids

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